As the college football season swings into full gear across the country, students at LMU find themselves missing that sense of school pride on these early autumn Saturdays. Since the discontinuation of LMU’s intercollegiate program over 70 years ago, Lions —past and present— have surely wondered how the program’s return would affect the university.
However, they shouldn’t get their hopes up for its resurgence anytime soon.
“We have not had NCAA football since 1951 and have had zero conversations about reinstating football since I arrived at LMU in 2018,” LMU Athletic Director Craig Pintens said.
Despite not having a division 1 team, the passion for the sport remains alive throughout the student body. All Lions have the opportunity to participate in intramural sports, football included.
These types of sports give fraternities like Alpha Delta Gamma (ADG), which has a flag football team on campus, the chance to play and bond over the game.
LMU junior and ADG team member Sebastian Rivera is relatively new to the game altogether.
“I played rugby growing up and started watching football recently, so I figured I’d give it a shot,” Rivera said. “It mostly looked like a way to get closer to my friends and play a competitive sport at the same time.”
Although they may not be as competitive as the likes of the SEC and PAC 12, Rivera stressed that these games are not for everyone: “I’ve seen some tight games.”
“Everyone who signed up is pretty athletic, so I think it’s the guys who can really read the game that stand out,” Rivera said.
When speaking about the impact an NCAA team would have on the university, ADG team member Teddy Jones said, “I feel like a D1 football team would benefit LMU as a whole because football tends to bring the whole community together for an event on a weekly basis, and football games have more of a draw than any other sport.”
Some Lions are believed to spend their Saturdays attending football games at other colleges throughout Los Angeles. ADG team member Jacob Farley recalled attending a University of Southern California football game as one of the “most fun experiences” he has had in college.
“I think our school lacks school spirit as a whole due to not having a team,” said Farley. “My friends who go to schools with football teams use their teams as a source of pride and it also seems to be a really fun experience.”
Within the last few years, Farley scratched the itch for football through playing with friends. “I wanted to play IM football for fun and for the competitiveness; it’s also a good way to stay active.”
For now, LMU’s football games will remain limited to those run by students themselves, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t see the return of the school’s intercollegiate program in the future.